There have been countless variations of the Omega Speedmaster. After all, the iconic chronograph was the first watch worn on the Moon, so it comes as no surprise that the brand would continue to celebrate its place in horology by continuing to add new Omega watches to the Speedmaster collection, even decades later. While many editions stay true to the original model’s design that landed on the Moon in 1969 with a classic black dial and bezel paired with an all-steel finish, Omega has also experimented with different materials, colors, movements, and even bracelet options.
That brings us to the topic of this article, the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon vs. The Grey Side of the Moon. How are they similar, and what sets them apart from one another? Additionally, which one should you buy? Join us for this Moonwatch matchup as we take a closer look at each of these unique editions and compare the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon vs. Grey Side of the Moon to ultimately determine which one is best suited for your wrist.
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon vs. Grey Side of the Moon
Dark Side of the Moon & Grey Side of the Moon Key Features:
– Case Diameter: 44.25mm
– Materials: Black or Grey Ceramic
– Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, 12-Hour Chronograph
– Dial: Multiple Options Available
– Bezel: Fixed w/ Tachymeter Scale
– Crystal: Sapphire (Box Shaped)
– Movement: Omega Co-Axial Caliber 9300
– Water Resistance: 50 Meters / 167 Feet
– Strap/Bracelet: Leather or Canvas Strap
Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Omega Speedmaster.
Design: Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Vs. Grey Side Of The Moon
Omega first introduced the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon at Baselworld 2013 and followed it up with the Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon in 2014. However, the two models we have pictured here are later generation versions with their own enhancements: Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon ref. 318.104.22.168.99.001 from 2016 and Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon 322.214.171.124.01.007 from 2018.
Both the Dark Side and the Grey Side sport 44.25mm ceramic cases, complete with a duo of chronograph pushers flanking the winding crown. As their names imply, the case of the Dark Side of the Moon is fashioned from brooding black ceramic while the Grey Side of the Moon features sleek gray ceramic – each color lending an entirely different style to their respective models. This is further compounded by the black ceramic bezel of the Dark Side compared to the Sedna gold (Omega’s proprietary rose gold alloy) and gray ceramic bezel of the Grey Side.
Additionally, although both Speedmasters have identical dial layouts – a duo of sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock accompanied by a date window at 6 o’clock – the looks are different thanks to their materials. This edition of the Dark Side houses a polished black ceramic dial with 18K white gold applied indexes, while the Grey Side flaunts a striking meteorite dial with 18k Sedna gold applied indices and hands. Completing each model’s look is a black coated nylon fabric strap for the Dark Side and a gray leather strap for the Grey Side. Both bracelets are fitted with new ceramic and titanium fold-over clasps in their respective colorways.
Overall, the Grey Side of the Moon Meteorite is a swankier approach to the Speedmaster compared to the sportier style of the Dark Side of the Moon. However, both models are definitely modern takes on the classic Omega Speedmaster chronograph.
Omega Co-Axial Caliber 9300 Movement
Both the Grey Side and the Dark Side Moonwatch models include transparent sapphire exhibition case-backs for a view of the Omega Co-Axial Caliber 9300 movements inside their cases.
The Co-Axial Caliber 9300 is an in-house automatic chronograph movement that Omega introduced in 2011. Functions include the center hour and minute hands, the center chronograph hand, the 60-minute and 12-hour recorder at 3 o’clock, the small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock, and the date window at 6 o’clock. The Caliber 9300 is fitted with Omega’s Co-Axial escapement, which differs structurally from traditional Swiss lever escapements to provide less friction with its movement.
Omega maintains that the reduction in friction means longer service intervals and ultimately results in a longer-lasting watch that requires less maintenance over time. The chronometer-certified Co-Axial Caliber 9300 offers wearers a 60-hour power reserve, and both models are water resistant to 50 meters.
Variations of the Dark Side of the Moon and Grey Side of the Moon
Omega groups all variations of the Dark Side and Grey Side watches into one category on its site (along with the “White Side of the Moon” models too), resulting in more than a dozen “Dark Side of the Moon” watches. One of the most recent iterations of the Dark Side of the Moon Speedmaster is the Alinghi ref. 3126.96.36.199.01.002, which came to market in 2020 and is a special edition Omega in black ceramic with striking red accents. The skeletonized dial gives the wearer a view of the cal. 1865 movement within that is decorated with a laser-ablated carbon and honeycomb effect that mirrors the hull of the Alinghi TF35 catamaran.
Another somewhat colorful edition of the Dark Side of the Moon is the Apollo 8 ref. 3188.8.131.52.01.001 – a tribute to the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 8 mission – featuring yellow highlights and a skeletonized movement engraved with a pattern that mirrors the surface of the moon. What is most interesting about the Alinghi and Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon models is that they use manually-wound movements rather than the self-winding calibers that are fitted to the rest of Omega’s ceramic Speedmaster watches.
Additionally, Omega also makes a Speedmaster White Side of the Moon, which swaps the dark ceramic of the other two models for crisp white ceramic. The reference 3184.108.40.206.55.001 features a diamond-encrusted bezel and diamond and Mother-of-Pearl dial, while the reference 3220.127.116.11.04.002 features a white ceramic dial and matching white ceramic bezel. Despite their bright white appearances, these White Side of the Moon watches have far more in common with their Grey Side and Dark Side counterparts, and are powered by the same automatic-winding Caliber 9300 movement.
Which One? Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Vs. Grey Side Of The Moon
While Speedy purists will argue that none of these models are technically “Moonwatches” since they are not direct descendants of the Speedmaster Professional models that were a part of the historic Lunar Landing in 1969, Omega does indeed house them in the modern Speedmaster Moonwatch lineup. Regardless of historical accuracy, these two Speedmasters offer a fresh and contemporary take on Omega’s flagship Speedmaster chronograph with large cases, advanced materials like colored ceramic, and modern in-house movements.
If you like your chronographs to be dark, stealth, and monochromatic, then the Dark Side of the Moon version would be your best bet. However, if you prefer your chronograph to be more luxurious and flashier, then the Grey Side of the Moon with rose gold and meteorite is a strong contender.
Which side are you on?